I just sent off my personal skeeter abatement plan that I have implemented at my new home. Of course, I have not seen a mosquito in the yard and have not been bitten all summer. But you never know when the neighborhood could be preemptively sprayed.
Jen Miller at the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides sent out a sample plan last week that anyone in the state can follow. She has run it by the Ada County Abatement officials, but it should apply in other counties as well. According to a new state law passed earlier this year, anyone can opt out of spraying if they follow a simple plan to abate mosquitioes on their own property.
Ironically, the Legislature intended this new law to make it easier for some counties to spray. But it does contain opt out language that organic farmers requested. So I’m opting out. Here’s my plan. I’ll just add that even if it’s in my abatement plan, I don’t really intend to use bug spray. But if you come over to visit you are welcome to daub it anywhere you like.
Oh, and feel free to steal the plan, customize her and send it in to WeedandPest@adaweb.net. If you live outside Ada County, send it to the proper mosquito abatement district.
Dear Mosquito Abatement District Officials:
I am writing this no treatment request as described in Idaho Code 39-2804 item 10. Here is my mosquito control plan for [ADD YOUR ADDRESS, CITY AND ZIP CODE]. I will do the following to control mosquitoes in my area and protect my family’s health.
Description of land: [DESCRIBE YOUR LAND, SUCH AS A residential home on x acres with sprinkler and drip irrigation, bird bath and a water fountain.]
I/We Will Use the Following Mosquito Controls [INCLUDE THE APPROPRIATE ITEMS BELOW]:
1. Mosquito source reduction
a. I/We will schedule irrigation to prevent standing water in yard and will allow ground to dry adequately between watering.
b. I/We will walk property and remove vessels (buckets, toys, etc) that collect water.
c. I/We will maintain constant agitation and flow through water fountain to prevent standing water.
d. I/We will change water in bird bath at least every three to four days.
e. I/We will change water for pets in outdoor bowls daily.
f. I/We will clean rain gutters.
2. Personal protection
a. I/We will inspect window screens and repair or replace screens with holes.
b. I/We will wear long sleeves and long pants and/or use mosquito repellants when active in yard at dawn and dusk.
3. Mosquito predation
a. I/We will make a special effort to provide and maintain habitat for wildlife (birds, bats, frogs) that eat mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please respond that you have received this request and also notify me when my plan is approved.
PS I added this line as well, toward the end: We would not like our property sprayed or anywhere in the vicinity of our property sprayed in order to protect our child and keep our garden free of toxins. And I don’t have a fountain or dog bowls, so I deleted those…